Thank you all for braving the winter chill to mark this eighteenth anniversary of infamy.
I have no particular qualification for speaking to you tonight save for having served for a period in the Senate, the brevity of which was matched only by its ineffectiveness and perhaps remarkable solely for the manner of my leaving.
I resigned my seat in the Senate last month because, with an election looming, I decided that I could not recommend that people vote for the Australian Labor Party. This was not because of the Party’s policy of support for homosexual marriage—a policy with which I strongly disagreed—but because of its decision to require those members who opposed such a policy to vote against their consciences in support of it.
I could not tell Western Australians that forcing members of parliament to vote against the direction of their conscience on such a serious and important issue was alright when, in fact, it is all wrong.
But that is a story for another night.
Tonight I want to tell you a story of conspiracy and betrayal which stretches back over a hundred years.
When you are first elected to the Senate, you are given a copy of this little book—one of the perks of office. It contains an Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia—the Australian Constitution.
Years in the making, the Constitution laid down the foundation for the establishment of this nation. Devised in peace and the subject of deep consideration by the leaders of the day, our Constitution has served us well and is not a document with which we should lightly meddle in order to satisfy the advocates of some passing fad or fashion.
Right there, in the first paragraph of the Constitution the framers note that, in uniting to form a Commonwealth, the people of the colonies are, and I quote, “relying on the blessing of Almighty God.”
We live in a nation established under God and relying on His blessing.
How are we to respond to God for the blessings upon which we rely? If we were a godly country we would respond by showing obedience to His commands.
And what are those commands?
Well, early on (Exodus 20:13) God commanded simply, “You shall not kill.” Later, Jesus gave a further commandment (Matthew 22:39), “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
How is it a manifestation of love to kill little babies before they are even born or to consider killing the elderly, the sick or even the merely depressed?
This is the society in which we live in 2016. It is a society which accepts the killing of the innocent; a society in which the rising tide of godless secularism has betrayed the principle of reliance on the blessing of Almighty God upon which the nation was founded.
It is a betrayal in which our political leadership conspires.
One of the Senators in Canberra who I grew to admire during my short time there was Victorian Senator, John Madigan.
Senator Madigan proposed a modest private member’s bill to remove Medicare funding for sex selection abortion. There are some sections in our community in which baby girls are aborted simply because they are baby girls. Senator Madigan wanted to end the Commonwealth funding of this practice.
Only a limited time is allowed for debating private members’ bills. The Labor Party, at its tactics committee meeting, decided to list as many speakers as required to ensure that the time allowed for debate was used up before the issue could be voted on. In political jargon this is called “talking it out”.
I have no doubt that the Liberal Party took exactly the same position. No one was prepared to be seen to be voting in favour of sex selection abortion or against abortion in any form.
I rose and spoke on this issue. I drew attention to the decision to drag out the debate in order to prevent a vote. As a result I was severely reprimanded by the Opposition Whip and the Leader both privately and in Caucus. Both sides of politics are committed to ensuring that abortion related matters never come to a vote with the only rule being that you can, under no circumstances, make public the conspiracy to prevent such matters being voted upon. Even those members who publicly proclaim their conscientious position on these matters sit back quietly while the conspirators ensure that their delicate consciences are never put to the test.
This same conspiracy is evident in the homosexual marriage question with both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader favouring the overturning of the traditional definition of marriage while one by one the members of parliament abandon their beliefs under the pressure of political correctness.
This is no time to stand idly by.
The foundations upon which our nation was established are being undermined.
We have state and federal elections coming up.
Many issues will be placed before the voters of Australia.
We will be lobbied on ‘jobs and growth’ and the importance of a company tax cut over ten years, on changes to superannuation, on penalty rates, on health and education spending. All of these issues are important and deserving of debate but they are not matters of life and death. They are not issues which determine the moral character of the nation.
To me, the issue of abortion is a defining issue and my advice to voters is to make every effort to discover where their candidates stand on this issue and whether they have the courage to back their principles with their vote.
Sadly, on this test, there will be many electorates in which the candidates of both major parties fail. To rebuild Australia we must find candidates who first pass the test and then preference the least worst of the rest.
Today Australia is not a country relying on Almighty God. It is a country which has betrayed its founding principles run by leaders who have conspired to pursue a godless future. As for us,
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven. That which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.